by Pastor Robert Miller
As we open the year, I want to take several posts to share with you what I consider to be the key to successful Christian living. I want to talk about the importance of TRUSTING GOD!
In Proverbs 3 1-10, there are some unusual words of wisdom for us about our relationship with God and about what happens when we trust and obey God completely.
The key verses which I want to focus on are found in verses 5-6. These are verses that are worthy of our memorizing and hiding in our heart.
With these verses and with each of the other that we find in this passage, there are some similarities. First of all, the commands are all-inclusive. He doesn't say trust Him with most of your heart or let Him lead you sometimes. No, it says, "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart... In ALL your ways acknowledge Him."
In verse 3, we read, "Let love and faithfulness never leave you!" In verse 9, "Honor the Lorde with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops!"
These words are "all"- inclusive. There is no half-way obedience or partial TRUST! He is saying, "I want you to understand that 'trust' is to be a total affair."
Notice that with each of the commands there is a blessing or a promise that follows. God tells us that if we do these things, then the doors are opened for Him to pour out a blessing upon us in return.
There are four promises or blessings that follow the five commands. They are blessings that hit us where we live! I'm not clairvoyant, but if I were and I could look inside your heart and read your deepest desires, I would see the things you are genuinely wishing for and hoping would come to pass in your life. They include a long and successful life, respect and honor before God and your fellow man, direction for life, and health, vitality, and prosperity. How does that list sound to you? These are the blessings and promises which follow God's commands.
Notice also that these blessings, which come from God, are conditional. We do our part, and God does His part. If we trust Him completely, if we obey Him completely, then He has some wonderful provisions for us as His children.
Notice verse 3 and 4, "Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man."
So the questions that confront us as we consider this scripture might go something like this:
Am I trusting in God and if not, where is my trust placed?
As I live out my life, where have I placed my confidence?
Now it's easy to say, "I trust in God." Our government claims it every time it prints a quarter. But in a materialistic and self-reliant society, it is way too easy to get sidetracked into trusting in that which will ultimately fail us. Our world is continually telling us to take short-cuts to follow our plans and feelings, to forget God and His ways! Turn on the television and every 8 minutes there are commercials that promise us everything we need to be successful, happy, prosperous and popular...just buy their product!
These messages come with such persistence and frequency that we buy into their message, "I've got to have that to be fulfilled!" We begin to chase after those things. But the things that matter, God says, "They are found in me, and I want you to have them."
So the questions come: "Do I trust God?" "Is God even worthy of my Trust?" "How do I know that I'm trusting in Him and Him alone?" It is these questions and more that I want us to look at in the next few weeks…but let's focus our attention on God's trustworthiness! Can we trust Him? Is God trustworthy?
Now the Bible declares that "Yes, we can trust in Him! Yes, without a doubt He can be depended upon! The Bible says that God's Care is Constant. When it comes to trusting God, you can rest assured that His care is constant and continual.
The Hebrews writer quotes God reminding us of His very Words in 13:5-6, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence; "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
God will never leave us or forsake us! Never, no never, will He let you down! His care is constant – continual- complete! The Psalmist in Psalm 136 time and time again says: "God's Love Never Fails!" "His love endures forever!" Read this Psalm He makes a great statement about God and then says: "God's love never fails! Over and over again! The message is that we can count on God, not only to care for and watch over us, but also to Provide for us!
Now our part in the equation is that we are to trust! We are called to trust in Him…to take Him at His Word and to Obey His Word. You remember the hymn, "Trust and Obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!"
But that's where the rubber meets the road! God asks us to OBEY or to TRUST Him in the area of our life that's bigger than what we can reason or understand. He is calling us to TRUST HIM before He shows us how He is going to work. We want to say to God, "Show me what you are going to do – and then I will trust You." We want to say: "God if I do this, how are You going to work?" "If I let you have my marriage…" "If I surrender my finances to You?" "God, I'm not sure, that you understand how desperate I am…and How deep my problems go!" The Psalmist said in Psalm 56:3-4, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust: I will not be afraid."
We are called to trust God in adversity – when we don't have all the answers and even when we are afraid! Even when we don't understand it all – we are called to trust in a God who IS TRUSTWORTHY! But not only in adversity are we to trust in Him. We are called to trust God in times of prosperity as well! I think that it is harder to keep our trust in Him when things are going well. When we are blessed, there is a tendency for us to either trust in ourselves or trust in our blessings. We tend to take the credit.
The extent to which we genuinely thank God for the blessing He provides is an indicator of our trust in Him.
I think we run to God fast when we have problems, but that we kind of tend to ignore God when we're being blessed. We become self-reliant! "Look at Me! I'm doing so good!"
Not only are we to trust God in adversity and prosperity – but we are to trust God as our source. We tend to forget that He is the source of every blessing and we begin to trust in His instruments of provision rather than in God, Himself. We trust in "the job" rather than in Him, who provided us and equipped us to have that job. We trust our health instead of realizing that God is the provider of our health.
In Proverbs 18: 10-11, there is an interesting contrast between people who trust in God and people who trust in themselves or their possessions:
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."
It's a beautiful picture, now see what he says: "The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, and they imagine it an unscalable wall."
He is saying that those who trust in the Lord when they have an issue or need, they immediately go to Him. And He is their trust! But those who have possessions, they make them a "Fortified City," and they look at their fortified city, and they say, "It's an unscalable wall….I cannot be touched!...I'll hide behind it." "I'll trust in my IRA – I'll trust in my savings account - I'll trust in my abilities – I'll trust in my government!".
What's your unscalable wall? What are you trusting in? It is so easy to trust all of these other things and not make God the source and platform of our trust!
What is your security? In whom have you placed your trust? I am here to declare to you that the key to success is the very same as it was in Solomon's day when he penned those words in Proverbs. The secret is to trust in the one who is trustworthy entirely!
I want to share with you from one of the great preachers of our day. His name is S.M. Lockridge, a preacher who spoke on trusting God. He knows how to lift our faith and our focus! I wish I could preach like him – I'm not him…. But read his words:
"You can trust Him. He's the one who made us. It is He who made us and not we ourselves. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. No means of measure can define His limitless love, and no far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply. I'm telling you today, you can trust Him.
No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out his blessing. He's enduringly strong, and He's entirely sincere. He's eternally steadfast, and He's immortally graceful. He's empirically, powerfully, and impartially merciful. He's the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world. He's God's Son. He's the sinner's Savior. He's the centerpiece of civilization; I'm trying to tell you, Church, You can trust Him!
He does not have to call for help, and you can't confuse Him. He doesn't need you, and He doesn't need me. He stands alone in the solitude of Himself. He's unparalleled. He's unprecedented. He's supreme. He's preeminent. He's the loftiest idea in literature. He's the highest personality in philosophy. He is the supreme problem of higher criticism. He's the fundamental doctrine of truthology. He's the cardinal necessity of the spiritual religion. He's the miracle of the age. He's the superlative of everything good that you can call Him. I'm trying to tell you, You can trust Him.
He can satisfy all your needs, and He can do it simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak, and He's available for the tempted and tried. He sympathizes, and He sees, He guards and He guides. He heals the sick; He cleansed the leper. He forgives sinners. He discharges debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the people. He blesses the young. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent; He beautifies the meek. I'm trying to tell you, Church, you can trust Him!"
He's the key to knowledge. He's the well-spring of wisdom. He's the doorway of deliverance. He's the path of peace. He's the roadway of righteousness. He's the highway of holiness. He's the gateway to glory. You can trust Him.
"He's the master of the mighty. He's the capturer of conquerors. He's the head of heroes. He's the leader of legislators. He's the overseer of the overcomers. He's the Governor of the governors. He's the Prince of princes. He's the King of kings. He's the Lord of lords. You can trust Him.
His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you. He's indescribable because He's incomprehensible. He's irresistible because He's invincible. You can't get Him off your hands. You can't get Him off your mind. You can't outlive Him, and you can't live without Him. Pilate couldn't stand it when he found out that he couldn't stop Him. Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him, and the witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree, and Herod couldn't kill Him. And death couldn't handle Him and thank God; the grave couldn't hold Him. There was nobody before Him. They'll be nobody after Him. He has no predecessor. He'll have no successor. You can't impeach Him, and He's not going to resign. You can trust Him.
He's the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. The first and the last. He's all things. He's the giver of life. He's the joy out of every sorrow. He's the light of every darkness. He's the peace that passes all understanding. He's the Giver of every good and perfect gift. You can trust Him. There's no God before Him. They'll be none after him. He is the first. He is the last. He is preeminent. There is no other God." Amen!
Thank you, Lord. We give you praise. We give you glory. God, you are trustworthy.